With just about half of Phillies spring training in the books, there has been a lot to sort through on the field. Is this team as good offensively as it appears to be? Will the pitching improve?
As position battles head up in advance of cuts starting, here’s a look at a handful of players who have over or underachieved thus far.
1B Brock Stassi
There’s no one in the Grapefruit League who has knocked in more runs than Stassi, which just about says how dominant he’s been through the first two weeks. The 27-year-old touts a plus .400 average and is tied with Maikel Franco for the team lead with three homers. He entered camp as a longshot to make the Opening Day roster, but he has quickly put himself as a likely candidate for a bench spot.
P Nick Pivetta
Sans one three-inning stint against Baltimore in which he surrendered two runs, Pivetta has been very impressive. In his other two outings, he’s pitched five scoreless innings combined. He has fanned seven batters so far with just a pair of walks, including a strong debut where he struck out three in two clean innings other than a single given up.
OF Aaron Altherr
In 25 at-bats entering Sunday, Altherr has a .280 average with four RBI and six runs. He’s shown a little bit of everything in the early going with a homer, a triple and a double among his seven hits. He’s also walked four times and has stolen a bag. He should be a nice asset off the bench for the Phillies after missing two-thirds of the 2016 season.
LF Howie Kendrick
It’s tough to get too down on anyone in the spring, but Kendrick hasn’t done much through his first two weeks in a Phillies uniform. He has a .192 average in 26 at-bats and has struck out six times while drawing zero walks. Again, it’s nothing to lose sleep over, but it’ll be important for Kendrick to pick things up in the back half of spring training before April rolls around.
RF Dylan Cozens
A star for Lehigh Valley in 2016, Cozens is off to a forgettable start to 2017. He has gone down a team-high 11 times via strikeout and is sporting a .190 average in 21 at-bats. When he has reached base, though, he’s been quite productive with a team-best three stolen bases to go with three runs scored.
P Mark Appel
In three outings, Appel has yet to escape unscathed in any, including a rough first appearance that saw him blow a save opportunity with two earned runs on a pair of hits. In his next two times out, he picked up the loss in each. If there’s one thing to like so far from Appel, it’s his strikeout-to-walk ratio which currently sees him with eight strikeouts to only two walks.