Phillies

Twins 4, Phillies 3: It's that Scott Kingery kid again

Twins 4, Phillies 3: It's that Scott Kingery kid again

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CLEARWATER, Fla. -- If Scott Kingery keeps this up, he's not just going to make the Phillies' opening day roster. He's going to win a spot on the team's Wall of Fame.

The 22-year-old second baseman continued his torrid spring training with two more hits, including a home run, and another eye-popping defensive play in a 4-3 loss to the Minnesota Twins at Spectrum Field on Friday.

"I can't say enough about Kingery," manager Pete Mackanin said. "He's a good-looking player, boy. And, I'll tell you what, I really like what I see.

"To be as composed as he is in his first big-league camp after just getting a taste of Double A. He really has made a great impression."

Let's answer the obvious question right here: Kingery is not making the big-league club. He spent just six weeks at Double A Reading last season and will most likely open right back there in April with Jesmuel Valentin, another 22-year-old second base prospect, opening at Triple A. Kingery himself has stated that he needs more time at Double A (see story).

Kingery entered Friday's game in the sixth inning and quickly laid out to his right and made a diving play and snap throw to first for an out. His home run came in the seventh. It was a two-run shot to left on a full-count pitch.

"Very good at-bat," Mackanin said. "He didn't want to get beat on something soft and he fought off some fastballs. He protected against something soft, he got a soft pitch and, against the wind, hit a bomb."

The middle infield boys
The Phillies' second base job belongs to Cesar Hernandez. He had a nice game Friday, reaching base three times.

Shortstop Freddy Galvis, who is working on improving his selectivity and on-base percentage, has impressed Mackanin early in the Grapefruit League season. Galvis is seeing pitches and trying to use the middle of the field more.

"I'm real happy with his at-bats," Mackanin said. "He looks like he's really under control and if he continues to have an approach like that he's going to have a good year."

No luck
Logan Moore doesn't get a lot of notice, but Phillies instructors will tell you that he's a first-rate defensive catcher. He has played at Double A and Triple A the last two seasons, basically wherever the organization needs him, and could end up as a backup in the majors someday.

Moore, who hits left-handed, had two good at-bats in Friday's game. He lined out hard to shortstop with two men on base to end the seventh, then ended the game with a bullet comebacker to the mound with the bases loaded. Both times an excellent defensive play took away a hit from him.

"Bad luck for Logan Moore," Mackanin said. "The shortstop robbed him. He really swung it well."

Moore's dad, Brad, pitched in eight games for the Phillies, five in 1998 and three in 1990.

Extra bases
Projected opening day starter Jeremy Hellickson pitched three innings of one-run ball. He allowed four hits, including a homer, walked a batter and struck out four.

Jerad Eickhoff will be the starting pitcher Saturday when the Phillies host the Atlanta Braves.

Gabe Kapler names Jim Gott Phillies' bullpen coach

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Gabe Kapler names Jim Gott Phillies' bullpen coach

Gabe Kapler on Friday added to his coaching staff by naming Jim Gott the Phillies' bullpen coach.

Gott was the minor-league pitching coordinator for the Angels the last five seasons and the pitching coach for the Arizona League Angels the three years prior to that role.

He played for the Blue Jays, Giants, Pirates and Dodgers over 14 major-league seasons as a starter and reliever. Gott, now 58 years old, compiled a 3.87 ERA while making 96 starts and converting 91 saves.

Kapler and the Phillies still need to name a pitching coach and first-base coach. Last week, they named Dusty Wathan third-base coach and hired John Mallee as hitting coach, while retaining Rick Kranitz, who was the assistant pitching coach last season (see story). He could fill the main pitching coach vacancy, although his role is currently to be determined.

In 2017, Bob McClure served the Phillies as pitching coach and Mickey Morandini was first-base coach.

MLB Notes: Astros' Jose Altuve, Marlins' Giancarlo Stanton claim MVP awards

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MLB Notes: Astros' Jose Altuve, Marlins' Giancarlo Stanton claim MVP awards

Houston Astros dynamo Jose Altuve has won the American League MVP award, towering over New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge by a wide margin.

The 5-foot-6 Altuve drew 27 of the 30 first-place votes in balloting by members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America.

Altuve batted a major league-best .346. He hit 24 home runs with 81 RBIs, scored 112 times, stole 32 bases and showed a sharp glove at second base.

The 6-foot-7 Judge won the AL Rookie of the Year award Monday. He set a rookie record with 52 home runs.

Jose Ramirez of the Cleveland Indians finished third. The award was announced Thursday.

Altuve helped lead the Astros to their first World Series championship. Voting for these honors was completed before the postseason began.

Miami Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton won the NL MVP award, barely edging Joey Votto of the Cincinnati Reds.

In the closest MVP vote since 1979, Stanton became only the sixth player to win from a losing team. Stanton led the big leagues with 59 home runs and 132 RBIs (see full story).

MLB: Manfred says pace changes will happen with or without union
Major League Baseball will change rules to speed games next year with or without an agreement with the players' association.

Management proposed last offseason to institute a 20-second pitch clock, allow one trip to the mound by a catcher per pitcher each inning and raise the bottom of the strike zone from just beneath the kneecap to its pre-1996 level at the top of the kneecap. The union didn't agree, and clubs have the right to impose those changes unilaterally for 2018.

Players and MLB have held initial bargaining since summer, and MLB chief legal officer Dan Halem said this week he would like an agreement by mid-January.

"My preferred path is a negotiated agreement with the players, but if we can't get an agreement we are going to have rule changes in 2018 one way or the other," baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred said Thursday after a quarterly owners' meeting.

Nine-inning games averaged a record 3 hours, 5 minutes during the regular season and 3:29 during the postseason.

There are ongoing talks for a new posting system with Japan to replace the deal that expired Nov. 1, one that would allow star Japanese pitcher/outfielder Shohei Otani to leave the Pacific League's Nippon Ham Fighters to sign with a big league team (see full story).

Mariners: Team makes trade, raises available money for Japan's Otani​
The Seattle Mariners have gained more flexibility if they want to try to sign star Japanese pitcher/outfielder Shohei Otani.

They acquired an additional $500,000 for their international signing bonus pool from the Chicago White Sox in a trade for Brazilian right-hander Thyago Vieira.

Otani, a 23-year-old right-hander, would be limited to a minor league contract with a signing bonus under Major League Baseball's new collective bargaining agreement. The trade announced Thursday increases the Mariners' available money for a signing bonus to $1,557,500. Seattle has spent $3,942,500 on bonuses in the signing year that started July 2 from a pool that rose to $5.5 million with the trade.

The 24-year-old Vieira made his major league debut with a scoreless inning against Baltimore on Aug. 14, his only big league appearance. He was 2-3 with two saves and a 3.72 ERA in 29 games this year for Double-A Arkansas and 0-1 with two saves and a 4.58 ERA in 12 games for Triple-A Tacoma.

Chicago is restricted to a maximum $300,000 signing bonus because it exceeded its pool in a previous year under the old labor contract.