We’ve now watched more than a week of games in Clearwater as the Phillies prepare to get into season form and “shock” the baseball world — as some confident players have been saying.
But how are the most important players to a potential improbable playoff run doing so far? If you’ve been too distracted by the impressive play of the Sixers and Flyers to really pay attention to the Phils in exibition action, no need to worry — we’ve got you covered.
Here’s a quick look at the hottest and coldest players in spring training so far:
Scott Kingery, 2B
The aspiring infielder added a single and a double against Toronto Sunday, lifting his early-spring batting cip to .412. A strong showing could land him as the Phils opening day second baseman.
Tommy Joseph, 1B
Feeling some heat from the recent Carlos Santana signing, Joseph has started this spring on a tear, getting hits in seven of his first 13 at bats.
Jorge Alfaro C
Already, more or less, named the starting catcher, Alfaro has flashed a quick bat in spring training tallying five RBI in his first five games. After an August call-up last summer he his .318 in 107 at bats.
Drew Hutchinson, SP
A dark-horse veteran candidate to make the five-man rotation, Hutchinson has a 1.80 ERA in five innings pitched over two starts this spring. Stellar play from him will test the young arms vying for a spot.
Ben Lively, SP
Lively is also looking like a good bet to perhaps be the Phils’ fifth starter, tossing five scoreless innings, striking out six and walking none in his first two appearances.
Dylan Cozens, RF
Leading the team in at bats before Sunday’s game against the Blue Jays, Cozens had just three hits in 17 tries and is playing like a man destined to start the year in Triple-A again.
Maikel Franco, 3B
Franco is no stranger to slow starts, but one his in hit first 15 at bats is a very bad sign.
Rhys Hoskins, LF
Hoskins has a solo homer and three walks, but that’s all he has to show as his .143 average is an ugly opening to the spring for the team’s prolific slugger.
Nick Pivetta, SP
Pivetta is 0-2 in his first two starts and has been knocked out of his starts totaling just 3.1 innings. In a very small sample size, his 7.36 ERA is troubling.