Phillies

Shocker: Joe West was wrong to confiscate Austin Davis' scouting report

Shocker: Joe West was wrong to confiscate Austin Davis' scouting report

Wait, Joe West was wrong?

Consider us, and the many of you who spoke out on social media Saturday night, shocked.

Last night in the eighth inning, West, the veteran umpire of more than 5,000 games, approached Phillies reliever Austin Davis and confiscated the scouting report Davis had been referencing during the inning, considering it a “foreign substance.”

Sunday, West is admitting that he did that in error.

During Sunday’s game, Ben Davis reported on NBC Sports Philadelphia that there was a lack of communication between the umpires and the league. West indicated to Davis that the umpires were never informed that the use of scouting reports was allowed.

That has now changed.

Davis continued to say that the league has made it clear to the umpires that use of such scouting reports was acceptable, if the player is not delaying the game. 

This tweet by Todd Zolecki confirms that report, citing MLB rule 6.03(c)(7).

We have entered the final month of the season and Davis has been using the cards throughout the year without issue. If a play can be reviewed, why couldn’t West consult with MLB to make sure he wasn’t acting in error when he confiscated the card from Davis?

The game of baseball is evolving and the use of scouting reports by pitchers is part of the work done by the Phillies' scouting department. It’s unfortunate that the umpires didn’t know the rules when they stepped out on to the field last night.

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Phillies grace cover of Sports Illustrated for first time in eight years

Phillies grace cover of Sports Illustrated for first time in eight years

The “new-look Phillies” are Sports Illustrated official. 

With opening day approaching quickly, four Phillies are on this week’s cover of Sports Illustrated, posing with the words “Loved in Philly, feared everywhere else”. 

Nothing like creating some hype for opening day by being on the cover of SI, right? 

Looking at Bryce Harper in red and white pinstripes will never get old, but seeing him posing with teammates Aaron Nola, Rhys Hoskins and J.T. Realmuto is quite a sight. All four guys are smiling and looking ready to start this season.

So far, it’s been a big year for Philly sports, as the Sixers were just on the cover in February and the Eagles were there in January. Back-to-back-to-back months with Philly teams on the cover? Not too shabby. 

This is the first time the Phillies have been on the cover of Sports Illustrated since 2011, after a run of some pretty iconic covers.

 We’re hoping this will be the first of many covers for this group. 

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Clearwater chronicles: Rhys Hoskins hurting, Andrew McCutchen to lead off

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Clearwater chronicles: Rhys Hoskins hurting, Andrew McCutchen to lead off

CLEARWATER, Fla. – Lots of newsy notes from Phillies camp this morning.

Let’s get to it:

• Rhys Hoskins has a sore left shoulder. Manager Gabe Kapler said it was nothing serious. Hoskins was not in the lineup Wednesday. He is expected to play over the weekend and be ready for opening day. An MRI revealed no structural damage in Hoskins’ shoulder. The cause of the soreness, Kapler said, was not known.

“There are no concerns about him starting the season,” Kapler said. “We’ll give him a couple of days to let things calm down. We have him penciled into the last couple of spring training games.”

The Phillies play their last two games in Florida on Sunday and Monday in Clearwater. Opening day in March 28.

• Kapler revealed that Andrew McCutchen will open the season as the team’s leadoff man. Cesar Hernandez, who led off extensively last season, will likely hit sixth or seventh, Kapler said.

McCutchen has 1,282 plate appearances as a leadoff man in his career. His on-base percentage in that spot is .367. McCutchen has hit most in the No. 3 spot -- 3,861 plate appearances.

“I talked to both guys,” Kapler said. “The likelihood is we’re going to start the season with McCutchen at the top of the lineup. I love his profile up there. I love his ability to see pitches. I love his history of on-base.”

Using McCutchen in the leadoff spot also gives Kapler some matchup flexibility in the middle of the lineup as he doesn’t have to hit Hoskins, J.T. Realmuto and McCutchen (all right-handed hitters) in consecutive spots.

“I like the idea of Odubel (Herrera) and Cesar in the middle to give us a little mix and match," Kapler said.

Kapler juggled his lineup often last season. He hopes to avoid that this season.

“One of the things I’m committed to going forward is trying to create some consistency for these guys, especially because they have the capability to really flourish in these lineups spots,” Kapler said.

Hernandez is OK with batting in the middle of the order.

“He’d like to settle in to one spot and I want to respect that,” Kapler said. “I’m not saying it will always happen, but I will do everything I can to respect that. He’s a veteran player and we’ll do whatever we can to make him comfortable.”

• The Phillies do not have a pure backup first baseman for Hoskins. In the event Hoskins needed relief, Maikel Franco would move over from third base and Scott Kingery would fill that spot. Franco will get some reps at first base Friday night against the Yankees in Tampa.

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