Phillies Playoff Notes: Who Pitches Game 4, Rhys Ready to Return?
We know that the Philadelphia Phillies will go with ace Zack Wheeler in Game 1, Aaron Nola will get the ball in Game 2, and Ranger Suárez will go in Game 3 out in Arizona.
But who will pitch in Game 4?
The Phillies haven't needed a No. 4 starter yet in these playoffs, and neither 15-game winner Taijuan Walker nor lefty Cristopher Sánchez have thrown a pitch in these playoffs.
So which one of those options would pitch in Game 4 out in Arizona?
Well, we don't have an answer to that yet. According to reports on Sunday, both Walker and Sánchez pitched in simulated games and looked rusty, per manager Rob Thomson.
Arizona's splits against lefties and right-handers are similar. They are hitting .251 vs LHP and .250 vs RHP. Neither Walker or Sánchez pitched against Arizona this season.
Rhys Hoskins update
Phillies first baseman Rhys Hoskins has yet to appear in a game this year, with an ACL injury suffered back in Spring Training that required surgery.
Thomson said last week that Hoskins is in consideration for a postseason roster spot, possibly for the NLCS. He has been in Clearwater facing live pitching to try and prepare himself for some sort of role.
“He is doing pretty well. He is getting live at-bats. He's running bases and sliding. He's doing pretty much everything except for taking ground balls,” Thomson said.
If Hoskins returns, it could be as a right-handed option off the bench. He would likely replace Jake Cave on the roster. Cave has yet to appear in these playoffs.
Hoskins could be an interesting option in a game where Brandon March starts in left field against the right-handed pitcher. Later in a game if a lefty enters the game, the team could turn to Hoskins, instead of Christain Pache, then insert Pache into left field for defense.
The decision on Hoskins has to be made by Monday at 10 a.m.
Philadelphia kicks off the NLCS in Game 1 on Monday, with the first pitch set for 8:07 p.m. You can listen on 97.3 ESPN, the mobile app, and 973espn.com, beginning with pregame coverage at 7:30 p.m.
Things to Replace Towne 16