Early takeaways from the first few games of Phillies 2024 spring training

Some Phillies players have done well during the first week of spring training games, while some need to improve or risk not making the Opening Day roster.

Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Cristian Pache is off to a strong start in spring training
Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Cristian Pache is off to a strong start in spring training / Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports
facebooktwitterreddit

The Philadelphia Phillies spring training games have been underway for nearly a week. Some players have done well and are aiming to earn a roster spot. Others have struggled and need to perform much better to be in consideration to make the club for Opening Day.

Let's take a look at some early takeaways from the first few games of the Phillies 2024 spring training.

Which players have impressed during the first few games of spring training?

Some bench players who have impressed for Philadelphia during the first few games include Cristian Pache and Whit Merrifield. Both will likely make the club's Opening Day roster. Pache is 3-for-7 with two home runs and three RBI following the Phillies contest versus the Toronto Blue Jays on Thursday. The outfielder has a .429/.500/.1.286 line in three games during spring training.

Merrifield has gone 3-for-9 with two doubles, one home run, and two RBI in three games. He has a .333/.333/.889 slash line. His experience, productivity, and defensive versatility give him the potential to be Philly's most valuable bench player in 2024.

"I've found that with my versatility, I find ways in the lineup, and if I'm playing well, I stay in the lineup," Merrifield said after his second game of the spring, per Corey Seidman of NBC Sports Philadelphia.

Aramis Garcia is a non-roster invitee to spring training who has done well. In four contests, he has gone 5-for-7 with one double, one home run, and four RBI. His slash line is .667/.727/1.111. Considering the Phillies do not have an opening at catcher with starter J.T. Realmuto and backup Garrett Stubbs, he will not begin the year with the club. He could receive playing time with the Lehigh Valley IronPigs for the second consecutive year.

Weston Wilson has gone 3-for-10 in four contests with one double, one home run, and five RBI. He has a .300/.273/.700 slash line but is tied for the team lead in strikeouts with four. He spent the majority of 2023 with the IronPigs.

Relievers Matt Strahm, José Alvarado, Jeff Hoffman, and Seranthony Domínguez have all done well in the early going of spring training. None of the four have allowed an earned run in the two games they have each appeared in. All four look to be in line for opportunities as the closer if manager Rob Thomson employs a closer-by-committee approach during the regular season.

Which players need to improve following the first few games of spring training?

First baseman Darick Hall has a slash line of .091/.167/.364 in four spring training games so far. He struggled with consistency and health in 2023 and doesn't look to be a candidate to make the Phillies' Opening Day roster unless there are injuries to starters that will keep them out for the beginning of the season.

Outfielder Johan Rojas did well in his first spring training contest by going 2-for-4 with one triple and three RBI. He went 0-for-5 over his next two games. The 23-year-old has a slash line of .222/.222/.444. If he does well offensively moving forward, he has a good chance of beginning with the Phillies at the beginning of the season. If he struggles, the odds increase that he could begin 2024 in the minors to work on his offensive consistency.

Reliever Michael Mercado surrendered three hits, three earned runs, and one walk in 2/3 of an inning in his first spring training game on Feb. 24 against the Toronto Blue Jays. He did better in his second appearance on Feb. 27 versus the Minnesota Twins with three strikeouts, no hits, no earned runs, and no walks allowed in one inning. If Orion Kerkering makes the Phillies Opening Day roster, Philadelphia has only two open bullpen spots. Mercado needs to perform exceptionally during the rest of his appearances to even be considered to make the club at the start of the season.

Connor Brogdon is another reliever that needs to make the most of his appearances during the spring. He struggled during his first start of spring training but improved in his second as he did not allow an earned run or a walk. Unless some Phillies relievers struggle with injuries at the start of the regular season, it is not a certainty he will earn one of the final bullpen spots with the team.

manual