Phillies

Rhys Hoskins makes loud noises with his bat, gets silent treatment from his mates

Rhys Hoskins makes loud noises with his bat, gets silent treatment from his mates

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SAN DIEGO — For the past five days, Rhys Hoskins has been living the dream, as they say.

First it was the promotion to the major leagues on Thursday.

Then it was his first big-league hit on Sunday.

Monday night brought what all power hitters live for — his first major-league home run.

But Hoskins didn't stop there. He clubbed two home runs and was the Phillies' lone highlight in a 7-4 loss to the San Diego Padres at Petco Park (see Instant Replay).

Hoskins, who was leading the International League with 29 home runs when he was promoted last week, smacked a solo shot in the fourth inning on a full-count fastball from lefty Travis Wood. He belted another solo shot off righty Craig Stammen on a 1-2 pitch in the seventh.

Both home runs were well-struck line drives that traveled 402 and 400 feet, respectively.

"Both were no doubt about it," manager Pete Mackanin said.

Hoskins was delayed getting into the clubhouse after the game because he was busy meeting the fans who caught his two home run balls. He traded a couple of autographed balls for the home run balls.

"I was definitely hoping for at least the first one," Hoskins said. "But the fact we were able to get both of them was pretty cool. It's something I'll have for the rest of my life."

Hoskins hails from Sacramento, California. He estimated that 30 or 40 friends and family members made the trek to Southern California for his fifth big-league game. Their cheers were audible throughout the stadium on both home runs.

"It was pretty cool to do that in front of them," he said.

Hoskins, 24, is a pretty articulate young man, but he struggled to find the right words to describe the thrill of his first big-league homer.

"I don't think I can. Really," he said. "I think it's something that, obviously, you dream about. You dream about getting here. But you dream about hitting a home run here. I don't know. I don't really remember it, to be completely honest."

Not even running around the bases?

"No," he said. "Not one bit. Not one bit. I think it hit me as soon as I got in the dugout."

How could it not have hit Hoskins in the dugout? He was the victim of an age-old baseball tradition — the ol' silent treatment.

"Well, I was running back to the dugout and Tom (Joseph) was walking up and he kind of stone-colded me," Hoskins said. "I immediately knew it was coming. I started laughing."

Hoskins handled the silent treatment well. He went up and down the dugout feigning high fives as his teammates sat with straight faces. As Hoskins went to put his helmet away, Odubel Herrera, possibly oblivious to it all, came up the stairs from behind the dugout and congratulated Hoskins. Once the silence was broken, teammates mobbed Hoskins and gave him a series of noogies.

"That was fun," he said. "Something I'll remember."

Hoskins' first homer gave the Phils a short-lived 2-1 lead. The Phils took a 3-2 lead in the sixth, but reliever Ricardo Pinto could not hold it. He was lit up for four runs in the sixth on three hits, two walks and a sacrifice fly, and another run on a homer in the seventh.

Pinto is a rookie learning how to pitch in the majors. On Saturday night, he struck out New York Mets slugger Yoenis Cespedes on three pitches with the game on the line. Two days later, on a night when Mackanin was being careful to not deplete his bullpen, Pinto got knocked around.

"In this kind of a game I didn't want to use everybody," Mackanin said. "We didn't have (Mark) Leiter because he's starting tomorrow. We have to be careful. We didn’t have a lot of length.

"Then again, we want to see these guys pitch. They're all young and they're learning. They make mistakes and they'll hopefully learn from them."

Starting pitcher Jerad Eickhoff allowed just one earned run over five innings, but he ran a high pitch count. He was still able to exit with a lead, but the Padres, baseball's lowest-scoring team, kept coming back.

"Every time we scored, they answered back," Mackanin said. "We had plenty of hits but didn't get enough runs."

Another sign that Joe Girardi will be hired to manage somewhere soon

Another sign that Joe Girardi will be hired to manage somewhere soon

In another sign that he's likely to return to managing in the majors in 2020, Joe Girardi stepped down as the manager of USA Baseball, the organization announced Wednesday.

Girardi, who is believed to have met with Phillies officials Monday, is a strong candidate for multiple open manager jobs. The Phillies are interested, and the Cubs and Mets appear to be hot after him as well.

Girardi is the overwhelming fan choice to manage the Phillies. It's hard not to see the appeal of his combination of experience, blend of new school and old school and track record of winning. Phillies fans seem to prefer Girardi to Buck Showalter, whose teams haven't advanced as far in the postseason.

Girardi has played things differently this year than last. He had two interviews for the Reds job last fall but pulled himself out of the process, saying it wasn't the right time.

Now, he wants to manage. And the openings this time around are more appealing — three major market clubs in Philadelphia, New York and Chicago. The Mets do not spend to their market size but the Phillies and Cubs have done so in win-now periods.

It is much more likely that the Phillies would be forced into a bidding war for Girardi than for Showalter because of the number of interested teams.



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Joe Maddon hired by Angels, officially off the board for Phillies manager opening

Joe Maddon hired by Angels, officially off the board for Phillies manager opening

The first of the eight manager jobs open across Major League Baseball to begin this offseason has been filled.

The Los Angeles Angels on Wednesday announced the hiring of Joe Maddon. Maddon's contract is reportedly for three years. A native of West Hazleton, Pennsylvania, Maddon has a long history in the Angels organization. Between 1975 and 2006, Maddon played and managed in the team's minor-league system, served as a coach with the Major League club and assumed the role of interim manager.

Maddon has a 1,251-1,068 record as a manager in the major leagues. He led the Tampa Bay Rays to an American League pennant in 2008 and skippered the Chicago Cubs to a World Series in 2016, their first championship since 1908. Maddon will take over an Angels team that finished 72-90 in 2019, led by two-time MVP Mike Trout.

Though Maddon might have appeared to be an attractive name for the Phillies job, Joe Girardi, Buck Showalter and Dusty Baker are the only candidates known for the position at the moment, according to Jim Salisbury. Baker is meeting with Phillies officials Wednesday, and a hire could come quickly, per Salisbury (see story).

USA Today's Bob Nightengale reports Showalter was the runner-up for the Angles job.



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