Phillies pitchers and catchers will work out for the first time on Wednesday, but we already have some news and notes emerging from Clearwater. Here’s what we learned today:
1) Gabe Kapler, predictably, has come to camp looking hot.
You are going to read a lot over the next few weeks about the team’s need to solidify the top of its rotation with a veteran arm to go along with Aaron Nola ahead of a bunch of back-end starters that possess both varying degrees of talent and uncertainty. The Phillies’ success this season likely hinges upon the front office’s ability to fill that need. Meanwhile, one under the radar story that I’ll be following in the early going is how the players will handle showing up to Clearwater after an offseason of rigorous workouts only to find that their manager is in better shape.
Lovin’ life. pic.twitter.com/564TS5fHzn
— Philadelphia Phillies (@Phillies) February 13, 2018
Look at him. I’m telling you, he looks like one of those mannequins at Dick’s Sporting Goods draped in Nike Dri-Fit. Will the players feel emasculated, or will they feel protected and motivated by a manager that is more of a man than they are? Stay tuned.
2) The Phillies will sport the powder blues on select Thursdays this season.
Good news from Clearwater. Phillies will wear powder blue uniforms in 2018. https://t.co/iAK2SNPOGX
— Matt Breen (@matt_breen) February 13, 2018
The Phillies have rocked these, on occasion, in recent years, but they will be a more consistent part of the uniform rotation in 2018. It’s not exactly the Eagles announcing a kelly green comeback, but it’s a cool look that should add some visual appeal whenever they roll them out.
3) Some Phillies are working out in different positions.
Versatility will be stressed in Phillies camp. With that, Tommy Joseph took ground balls at third base this AM. Roman Quinn, SS turned OF, took balls at SS and 2B Scott Kingery took some at third. A look at bench questions heading into camp https://t.co/HiLJABn76W
— Jim Salisbury (@JSalisburyNBCS) February 13, 2018
This is an interesting note from Jim Salisbury. Scott Kingery taking reps at third base should come as no surprise given the team opted to keep second baseman César Hernandez this past offseason. Kingery was dominant in the minors a season ago and doesn’t have anything left to prove there. Still, it’s more than possible that Kingery doesn’t make the Major League roster out of camp. Finding regular at-bats for him at the Major League level should be one of the organization’s top priorities. Roman Quinn, who turns 25 in May, has long possessed the tools to be a big league starter, but numerous significant injuries have derailed his ascent. Quinn’s case is interesting—it would be intriguing to finally see what he can do with the Phillies as an extra outfielder, but he may be better served by getting consistent work at Lehigh Valley. As for Tommy Joseph at third base, good luck with that.