Jean Segura set to return, a start for Nick Williams, and a Phillies-Rockies trade

Jean Segura set to return, a start for Nick Williams, and a Phillies-Rockies trade

The Phillies’ offense could get a boost as soon as Saturday when shortstop Jean Segura is expected to come off the injured list. Segura appeared to clear the final hurdle in his recovery from a hamstring injury when he participated in base-running drills Friday afternoon.

“As of this moment, the game plan is to have him available [Saturday], potentially even start at shortstop,” manager Gabe Kapler said after watching Segura run the bases.

Segura, the Phillies’ No. 2 hitter, was hitting .328 with a .384 on-base percentage and 13 runs scored in 16 games when he left the game on April 16.

Entering Friday night, the Phillies had lost six of the nine games they’d played without Segura and the offense had sputtered.

Getting the contact machine shortstop back will help.

“Jean can definitely provide a spark for us, but it’s not just on his shoulders and we shouldn’t assume that inserting him into the lineup is going to fix every woe that we’ve experienced over the course of the last two weeks; I don’t think that would be reasonable,” Kapler said. “But I will say that he was a spark at the top of our lineup when he was in there and I have no doubt that he can provide that spark again.”

Williams gets first start

Nick Williams was slated to make his first start of the season on Friday night. He was listed in left field, batting fifth for the Phillies.

Williams made the defensive play of the early season when he gunned down a runner at the plate to preserve a 1-1 tie in the top of the ninth inning Thursday night. The Phillies lost the game, 3-1, in the 10th.

Williams’ throw from left field registered 95.5 mph, according to Statcast. Neither starting pitcher threw a ball that hard all night.

“We were all still talking about it when we got to the ballpark today,” Kapler said.

Playing time has been scarce for Williams, who is primarily a rightfielder. Bryce Harper now plays that position and he’s not going to take many days off. Andrew McCutchen is set in left field and Odubel Herrera in center. With Herrera and Roman Quinn both on the IL with hamstring injuries, Kapler was able to get Williams a start in left field by moving McCutchen to center.

“Nick has handled this about as professionally as anyone could,” Kapler said. “He’s actually been a breath of fresh air in that regard. It’s hard to not have a start until near the end of April. It’s a huge mental challenge and I think he’s done a good job of tackling it.”

A trade

The Phils made a minor trade Friday, sending Triple A reliever James Pazos to Colorado for minor-league infielder Hunter Stovall. Pazos had been designated for assignment earlier in the week.

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No jitters for Bryce Harper, just an RBI, a stolen base and a little 'glam'

No jitters for Bryce Harper, just an RBI, a stolen base and a little 'glam'

CLEARWATER, Fla. — Everybody's stomach is a little different.

So while Jake Arrieta had a few butterflies before his first start of the spring Tuesday, Bryce Harper's pulse barely quickened.

"Kind of the opposite," Harper said, comparing the feel of his spring debut to Arrieta's. "Spring training is kind of spring training. I don't want to get too high or anything like that. I just want to get out there, stay healthy and compete. When I get to opening day, there's your jitters."

Harper played five innings in right field. He came to the plate three times. He drove home a run with a sacrifice fly in his first at-bat and later walked and struck out. He also stole a base.

What a difference a year makes. Last year at this time, Harper was still a free agent, mulling offers from the Phillies, Giants and Dodgers. He chose the Phillies on the final day of February and camp exploded with excitement. Back in Philadelphia, the team sold 180,000 tickets within 48 hours of Harper's agreement with the team.

This year, things are a lot different for Harper. He has become a dad. And his hair is a lot longer.

"I'm going to keep it going," he said. "Yeah, keep it flowing. Why not? We'll see what happens."

Harper, of course, isn't the only one in camp with a new look. His pal, the Phanatic, unveiled his on Sunday.

"Hey, man, everybody needs a glam-up sometimes, you know?" Harper said. "Why not? I've got long hair right now. I'm always changing."

The general atmosphere around camp is also different than it was a year ago. Though there's a real sense of faith that the Phillies will improve under new manager Joe Girardi, there's none of the euphoric buzz that accompanied Harper's signing. The attendance for Tuesday's game against Toronto in Clearwater was just 4,004. It was a split-squad game for both teams.

Harper is OK with a calmer spring.

"It's definitely different coming into camp," he said. "It's good knowing I'll be here the next 12 years, a lot more calm, not as crazy, not as many cameras. I'll enjoy that and just get ready for the season."

Harper's spring goal:

"Just be healthy," he said. "Take good routes in the outfield, throw the ball well out there, have good at-bats."

Haseley in protocol

Centerfielder Adam Haseley left the game in Clearwater after hitting his face hard on the ground while attempting a diving catch. Haseley suffered a cut on his forehead, caused by his sunglasses. He was seen walking and talking in the clubhouse after the game but was unavailable for comment to reporters because he had been placed in concussion protocol. His condition will be updated on Wednesday.

The games

Arrieta gave up a single, a walk and a three-run homer in the first inning, but he enjoyed a quick second inning. He admitted to some nerves in the first inning but settled in after that. At this point of camp, all that matters with a starting pitcher is health and Arrieta feels good after having his elbow surgically cleaned out late last season.

The Phillies lost the Clearwater game, 13-6, despite a grand slam from minor-leaguer Jhailyn Ortiz. The Phillies signed Ortiz for $4 million as a 16-year-old out of the Dominican Republic in July 2015. He hit just .200 at Single A Clearwater last season but had 19 homers and 65 RBIs in 430 at-bats.

Catcher J.T. Realmuto gunned down a runner trying to steal second base from his knees.

In Bradenton, the Phils beat the Pirates, 6-2. Lefties Ranger Suarez and Damon Jones both pitched two scoreless innings. 

The victories left the Phillies at 3-1-1 in exhibition play.

Zach Eflin starts Wednesday against the Twins in Fort Myers.

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Phillies Talk podcast: Can Roman Quinn change complexion of Phillies' lineup?


Phillies Talk podcast: Can Roman Quinn change complexion of Phillies' lineup?

Joe Girardi is already impressed by Roman Quinn, who could significantly alter the Phillies' lineup if he can win the CF job. Ricky Bottalico and Corey Seidman discussed on Tuesday's Phillies Talk podcast.

• How Roman Quinn could change the complexion of the lineup.

• Can Andrew McCutchen be an effective leadoff man if the knee forces him to go station to station?

• How much a fast runner can mess with a pitcher's head.

• Phillies pitchers making clear (without saying it) what they thought of Chris Young and Gabe Kapler.

• Whose side are you on with the Phanatic lawsuit?

• Expectations for Scott Kingery in Year 3.

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