Tonight's lineup: Nick Williams moves up after big game

Tonight's lineup: Nick Williams moves up after big game

Nick Williams' big night on Thursday has him climbing in the Phillies' lineup.

In the 5-4 loss to the Angels, the 23-year-old rookie went 3 for 4 with a two-run homer and two doubles (see story), prompting manager Pete Mackanin to push Williams up from seventh to fifth in the order for Friday's series opener against the Rockies.

Williams is batting .294 with five home runs and 21 RBIs in his first 27 big-league games. With Williams' move up, Odubel Herrera slides down to seventh behind Maikel Franco at sixth.

Herrera is currently riding a seven-game hitting streak, batting .370 with two homers over that span. Meanwhile, Franco went 1 for 12 in the three-game set against the Angels in which the Phillies were swept.

Cameron Rupp is behind the plate, while fellow catcher Andrew Knapp recovers from a bruised throwing hand. The Phillies called up Jorge Alfaro to be the team's second catcher for the time being (see story).

Vince Velasquez takes the Coors Field mound for the Phillies, opposing Rockies left-hander Kyle Freeland. For more on tonight's game, read Corey Seidman's game notes here (see story).

Here are the lineups:

1. Cesar Hernandez, 2B
2. Freddy Galvis, SS
3. Aaron Altherr, RF
4. Tommy Joseph, 1B
5. Nick Williams, LF
6. Maikel Franco, 3B
7. Odubel Herrera, CF
8. Cameron Rupp, C
9. Vince Velasquez, P

1. Charlie Blackmon, CF
2. DJ LeMahieu, 2B
3. Nolan Arenado, 3B
4. Gerardo Parra, LF
5. Mark Reynolds, 1B
6. Carlos Gonzalez, RF
7. Trevor Story, SS
8. Jonathan Lucroy, C
9. Kyle Freeland, P 

Rhys Hoskins' home run over-under is pretty low

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Rhys Hoskins' home run over-under is pretty low

If you're a believer in Rhys Hoskins, there is some money to be made.

Gambling site Bovada released a slew of player prop bets for the 2018 MLB season and Hoskins was the lone Phillie represented.

Hoskins' over-under totals are 28.5 home runs and 90.5 RBIs.

It's safe to assume more will bet the home run over than the under. Hoskins hit 18 homers in just 50 games and 212 plate appearances last season. That's a full-season pace of 56 home runs.

Now, that doesn't mean Hoskins is going to hit 50 this season, or even 40. The league now knows about him. Pitchers will have more of a game plan than they did when Hoskins was cranking jacks at an insane rate last August and September.

It's worth noting that Hoskins did slow down in the season's final two weeks, hitting just .135 with no homers and nine RBIs in his last 16 games.

But based on his raw power and the unique ability to work deep counts and draw walks, Hoskins will get himself into many hitter-friendly counts this season and throughout his career. He's a safe bet for 25-plus homers, and if I was forced to make picks I'd go over for both homers and RBIs. 

Hoskins will have plenty of RBI opportunities with guys like Carlos Santana, Odubel Herrera, J.P. Crawford and eventually Scott Kingery batting before him.

Brushbacks, hit batsmen, ejections in Phils' spring training game

NBC Sports Philadelphia

Brushbacks, hit batsmen, ejections in Phils' spring training game


CLEARWATER, Fla. — The Phillies bring extra pitchers over from the minor-league complex for bullpen depth every game in spring training. For the pitchers, it’s a nice little recognition of a job well done. They often don’t get in the game, but they get to put on a big-league uniform and put a day’s worth of big-league meal money in their pocket.
Parker Frazier got even more than that on Thursday. He not only got in the game. He got ejected.

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen that in a spring training game,” Frazier said with a laugh afterward. “I’ll take the first for something.”

Home plate umpire Tom Hallion gave Frazier the boot for hitting Detroit’s Derek Hill with a pitch in the eighth inning of a 6-2 loss. Frazier hit Hill with an off-speed pitch, so it clearly was not intentional. But Hallion had already issued warnings to both benches after Zach Eflin had hit Jose Iglesias and Detroit’s Matthew Boyd came in close twice against Odubel Herrera. In addition to Frazier, Hallion also ejected Phillies reliever Pedro Beato for hitting a batter in the ninth. Manager Gabe Kapler and bench coach Rob Thomson were ejected with Frazier and Beato, respectively.

It made for a crazy scene, especially in a spring training game.

Herrera believed that Boyd intentionally threw at him as retaliation for Iglesias getting hit. Boyd at first threw over Herrera’s head as Herrera tried to call timeout. He then came inside on Herrera. Herrera sidestepped the pitch and took first with a walk.

“He can’t hit me,” a defiant Herrera said afterward. “I’m too quick.”

Frazier definitely wasn’t trying to hit Hill, not with a slider.

“It was a slider that didn’t slide,” he joked.

Frazier is the 29-year-old son of former big-league pitcher George Frazier. He’s a career minor leaguer who has been in pro ball since 2007 and pitched in the Rockies, Reds, White Sox, A’s and Diamondbacks organizations. He pitched the last three seasons in independent ball and is in Phillies camp for the first time.

Frazier’s fiancee and future in-laws were in from Oklahoma for the game. They expected to see him pitch at the minor-league complex, but instead got to see him experience an eventful day in big-league camp.

After being ejected, Frazier returned to the clubhouse. A text from his fiancee awaited him.

“They wanted to know what happened,” he said. “I told them accidental hit pitch.”

Kapler wouldn't discuss what he said to Hallion after Frazier's ejection. He said he would respect the umpire's decision because those are the rules.

But Kapler made it clear that he didn’t believe his pitchers were trying to hit anyone.

“We have a minor leaguer in the game and he’s just trying to make a good impression,” Kapler said. “He threw a slider that backed up and hit somebody. Beato is also trying to make a club and make a good impression. There’s no reason to not throw strikes. Balls will get away. It’s part of the game.”