Zack Wheeler’s spring debut was a good one. The right-hander, who lines up behind presumed opening day starter Aaron Nola in the Phillies’ rotation, pitched two scoreless innings against Toronto in his spring debut Tuesday. The Phillies lost the game, 4-2. They are 0-2-1 in Grapefruit League play. Wheeler, who pitched to a 2.92 ERA in 11 starts in his first season with the Phillies last year, allowed just one hit, walked two and struck out two. He threw 37 pitches, 21 of which were strikes. “I thought he looked like Zack,” manager Joe Girardi said. “Lots of fastballs. He threw some pretty good sliders. He's got to build his arm strength, so I was happy with what we saw. He threw 37 pitches, which is great. He looked good.” The Phils will move on to their No. 3 starter as Zach Eflin makes his spring debut in a start against the Tigers in Lakeland on Wednesday. Girardi revealed his pitching plans beyond that. Lefty Matt Moore will start Thursday against the Yankees in Clearwater and righty Chase Anderson will start Friday against the Pirates in Clearwater. Moore and Anderson were both signed to big-league contracts in the weeks before spring training and, barring injury, will likely open the season in the fourth and fifth spots in the rotation. However, Vince Velasquez and Spencer Howard have both been described by Girardi as being in the competition for a rotation spot. They will also make their spring debuts this week. Velasquez will pitch in the same game as Moore and Howard in the same game as Anderson. We explored what could happen with Velasquez, Howard and the rotation in general here.
Girardi reveals Phillies’ pitching plans for coming days