Phillies Spring Training Tracker Part Deux: The Second One
Velasquez was also a dud in my previous list, and did little to change my mind. In his last start against Toronto, he allowed three runs on five hits in 3.1 innings, which actually lowered his ERA to 12.79. Yikes. He made three starts this spring, but only threw 6.1 innings total, walking seven, and allowing opposing hitters to hit .379 with three homers. He did manage 15 K though, which honestly encapsulates him perfectly.
Velasquez has always been a frustrating pitcher. He has absolutely electric stuff when he’s on his game, but when he’s off his game it can get ugly fast. Maybe he should try throwing left-handed instead, he’s done it before.
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He wasn’t terrible this spring, but he wasn’t particularly good either. He batted .222 across 36 at-bats, striking out nine times and only going deep once. He had a respectable .317 on-base percentage but only slugged . 333 for an OPS of .650. Missing about a week with a sore shoulder certainly didn’t help, but he’ll most likely be ready for Opening Day.
I expect Hoskins will do alright in the regular season (particularly with Harper and Realmuto surrounding him in the batting order), but your cleanup hitter really needs a slugging percentage better than .333.
Hernandez was hurt for much of the spring, which is simultaneously the biggest reason for and against putting him on this list. Again, he wasn’t terrible, but he wasn’t on the field much and was uninspiring when he was. He batted .241 with no homers in 29 at-bats, but only slugged at .310 with an OPS of .601.
Hernandez’s mediocre Spring Training combined with a strong camp from Andrew McCutchen was enough to cost him the leadoff spot heading into the season. It’ll be interesting to see how he adjusts to hitting in a different spot in the lineup, as he’s started 395 career games as a leadoff man, and 172 in the other 8 spots. His average in the leadoff spot is nearly identical to his average elsewhere (.276 vs .277) but he has 28 homers and 60 doubles batting first against four and 22 batting anywhere else.
Victor Arano, Maikel Franco, Nick Williams