OAKLAND -- Josh Phegley’s insider knowledge may have helped his new teammates against Carlos Rodon on Friday night.
The Oakland A’s catcher and ex-Sox prospect homered and gave his new teammates a pretty good scouting report on Rodon in a game the White Sox rallied to win 7-6. Phegley -- who is not in the starting lineup Saturday -- caught Rodon three times at Triple-A Charlotte last season. Not that it’s much of a secret, but Phegley, who came to Oakland along with Marcus Semien in the six-player deal that sent Jeff Samardzija to the White Sox, told teammates to look for Rodon’s slider when they were behind in the count.
“I tried to give these guys a little insight,” Phegley said. “Everyone in baseball knows he has a good slider by now. I told them it’s his go-to pitch if he wants to put you away. A lot of guys over here said he’s going to be a really good pitcher if he can locate his fastball and get a little more control and command. We saw good things from him, and he was just out of the strike zone a lot. I spent some time with him last year. He’s a good kid, and he’s going to have a good career.”
[NBC SHOP: Gear up, White Sox fans!]
Phegley believes the move to the A’s has given him a fresh outlook.
With Stephen Vogt performing like an All-Star, Phegley mostly only plays against left-handed pitching and has been limited to 43 plate appearances so far. Still, he has more certainty than he did with the White Sox, who traded him shortly after they claimed Rob Brantly off waivers in December. Phegley -- the White Sox starter at the end of the 2013 season -- didn’t expect a trade but feels like everything has worked in his favor.
“I can get comfortable in that role and know what my job is,” Phegley said. “I’m just trying to do the best I can against left-handed starters and get a few pinch hits every now and again against lefties. I’ve enjoyed it. I love the team over here, a good group of guys. I know we’re battling right now to get in the win column, but we have a good team and I think we still have the faith that we’re going to do well.”