Phillies Spring Notes: Moore Impresses, Brogdon Leaves, Herrera Homers
The battle at the back end of the Phillies rotation could prove to be as interesting as the battle in the bullpen and in center field.
The battle for the back end in the Phillies’ rotation continued Sunday as the Phillies took on the Pirates. 31-year old lefty, Matt Moore tossed four strong innings, striking out three, lowering his Grapefruit League ERA to 1.13. It appears Moore is in line to be the Phillies No. 4 or 5 starter with Chase Anderson and Spencer Howard the most likely to capture the other spot in the rotation.
The interesting thing will be what happens to the loser of that battle. What will the Phillies do with Anderson, Howard, Vince Velasquez if they are not in the rotation. It would seem likely that one of those three will be in the rotation, but will the other two find a role in a crowded battle in the bullpen.
The bullpen continues to deliver Phillies manager Joe Girardi some tough choices. Veteran David Hale impressed again, with two strikeouts in his one inning of work, lowering his spring ERA to 1.69 in six appearances. Non-roster invitee Brandon Kintzler continued to impress and has yet to give up a run this spring in five games.
Right now it seems Archie Bradley and Hector Neris are the only sure things in the pen. Kintzler and Tony Watson are both non-roster invitees, with Sam Coonrod also in the mix. Jo-Jo Romero, Ranger Suarez and David Hale are also in the mix.
Some injury news, as one of the young arms, Connor Brogdon, had to leave Sunday's game with an apparent back injury. Brogdon has looked sharp this spring, giving up no runs in four games, and had a very good finish to the 2020 season after a slow start to the season.
Girardi seemed to indicate that removing Brogdon was more precautionary.
"He’s fine," Girardi stated." I was just being overly cautious with him.
If anything there are a lot of options this season, something Girardi didn't have in 2020.
In center field, Odubel Herrera had a big day on Sunday, going 2-3 with a home run and two runs score, hitting third and playing right field. Herrera is now hitting an .300 this spring, but is not on the Phillies 40-man roster.
Scott Kingery started in left and hit lead-off, going 0-3 with a strikeout, lowering his spring average to .136. Former No. 1 overall pick, Mickey Moniak, continues to hit, going 1-2 to bring his spring average to .426. Another outfielder in the mix is veteran Matt Joyce, who continues to hit this spring, going 2-3 with two RBI, raising his spring batting average to .538.
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