Phillies

Phillies 4, Giants 2: What a find Drew Smyly has been

Phillies 4, Giants 2: What a find Drew Smyly has been

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So far, so good on the Drew Smyly reclamation project. The left-hander pitched seven shutout innings in his second Phillies start Tuesday night and led the team to a 4-2 win over the San Francisco Giants at Citizens Bank Park.

Smyly was signed by the Phillies less than two weeks ago after opting out of his minor-league contract with the Milwaukee Brewers. He had previously been designated for assignment by the Texas Rangers.

Smyly, who had an ERA over 8.00 with Texas, is enjoying a rebound with the Phillies. In two starts, he has totaled 13 innings and allowed just eight hits and one run.

The Phillies entered the night one game back in the NL wild-card race. They are 56-50.

Something to Smyl about

Smyly scattered four hits, walked one batter and struck out five.

He threw 103 pitches, including 36 four-seam fastballs, 29 cutters and 37 curveballs. The curveball produced nine swing and misses.

A long time coming

Pitching deep into games has been a big problem for Phillies starters. The Phils had not had a starting pitcher other than Aaron Nola go seven innings since Zach Eflin went eight in a 2-0 win over Arizona on June 12.

Nola did it four times in that span.

Hoskins heating?

Rhys Hoskins has just four homers this month, but two of them have come in the last two games, both wins. It would be huge if Hoskins’ power bat heated up as the calendar turned to August.

Hoskins hit a two-run homer against Tyler Beede in the bottom of the fifth to give the Phils a 4-0 lead. Bryce Harper, who walked three times, was on base.

Take the run

Good at-bat by Maikel Franco with runners on second and third and no outs in the fourth. With the infield back, he took a contact approach and got the first run of the game home on a ground ball to second. Rookie Adam Haseley followed with an RBI double. Haseley has seven hits in his last four games.

A struggle

One day after drawing praise for his work out of the bullpen from general manager Matt Klentak, Nick Pivetta surrendered two solo homers in the eighth as the Phillies lost the shutout bid. Hector Neris closed out the two-run lead in the ninth.

Demotions, transactions, moves

Eflin was demoted to the bullpen. The Phils signed Minnesota castoff Blake Parker. All in a day’s work for a team trying to piece together a pitching staff. (see story)

Up next

Vince Velasquez (3-5, 4.46) pitches against Jeff Samardzija (7-8, 3.95) on Wednesday night.

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J.T. Realmuto feeling 'blessed' as he heads into arbitration showdown with Phillies

J.T. Realmuto feeling 'blessed' as he heads into arbitration showdown with Phillies

CLEARWATER, Fla. — Phillies catcher J.T. Realmuto will participate in Tuesday’s workout before taking a flight to Phoenix for Wednesday’s salary arbitration hearing.

Realmuto is dreading the long flight, not the hearing.

“One way or another, I’m going to be playing baseball in Philly this year,” he said. “I’m going to either be making $10 million or $12 million, and I’ll be happy either way. I’m blessed to get to do what I do for a living for a lot of money so either way, I’m happy.”

Realmuto is actually seeking $12.4 million. The Phillies have filed at $10 million. The arbitration panel will select one figure or the other. There is no middle ground (more details here).

Realmuto, who made $5.9 million last year, is in his third and final year of arbitration and is scheduled to become a free agent after this season. To date, the highest-paid catcher in that class was Matt Wieters, who avoided a hearing with Baltimore and made $8.275 million 2015. Catcher Mike Napoli actually made more — $9.4 million — in a negotiated settlement with the Texas Rangers in 2012, but he was in his fourth year of arbitration because of his Super-Two status with the Anaheim Angels in 2009.

So, no matter how the arbitration panel rules, Realmuto’s 2020 salary will be a record for an arbitration-eligible catcher.

Once Realmuto’s 2020 salary is established, the Phillies will turn their attention to negotiating a long-term contract extension with him. Realmuto is expected to seek in the neighborhood of $23 million per season, matching Joe Mauer’s record salary for a catcher, over a five- or six-year deal. 

The Phillies would like to get a deal done by opening day to avoid any potential distractions. Would Realmuto negotiate during the season?

“We haven’t gotten there yet,” Realmuto said. “I’ll talk with my agent and we’ll communicate with Matt (Klentak, the general manager) and let him know.”

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Joe Girardi asks Phillies players to give him their hearts — and their trots

Joe Girardi asks Phillies players to give him their hearts — and their trots

CLEARWATER, Fla. — Joe Girardi officially opened his first Phillies spring training camp by telling the players to give him their hearts.

“He knows if he can get our heart, he’ll get our best on the field,” J.T. Realmuto said.

Both Girardi and managing partner John Middleton stressed that the goal was to play deep into October. The Phillies have not been to the postseason since 2011.

Middleton reminded the players of the passion that Philadelphia fans have and urged them to give back to the fans by playing the game hard and respecting it.

Girardi roamed the fields of Carpenter Complex during the workout. He lightened the mood at the end of a base-running drill by asking a group of players, including Jean Segura, to show off their home run trots.

“Just to have some fun,” Girardi said after the workout.

The home-run trot "drill" came with some instructions.

“Make sure you run hard before you know it's out,” he told the players. “The big thing is if you run hard to first, there is a great chance it'll be out by then. Then you don't get caught on first base or caught on second base when you should be a base ahead. Just run hard.”

Phillies pitchers will begin throwing live batting practice during Tuesday’s workout.

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