Adam Haseley

Bryce Harper hits his first home run of 2020 before Vince Velasquez gives it all back

Bryce Harper hits his first home run of 2020 before Vince Velasquez gives it all back

This time, the Phillies didn't fail to cash in early.

Adam Haseley, Rhys Hoskins and Bryce Harper went single, double, three-run homer to begin the Phillies' series finale Sunday afternoon against the Marlins.

Four batters later, Jay Bruce hit an RBI triple off of the top of the wall in left-center to give the Phils a four-run lead. A four-run lead that Vince Velasquez immediately gave up by allowing a solo shot to Jesus Aguilar and a three-run homer to Miguel Rojas in the top of the second inning. Not a pretty debut by any stretch for Velasquez, who is barely clinging to his spot in the rotation.

Harper's home run was a first-pitch missile to the stairwell in right field, his first of the season. The Phillies had five hits in the inning against overmatched Marlins right-hander Robert Dugger.

The Phillies had been 1 for 9 on the season with runners in scoring position before Harper's homer. They left five runners on base in the first two innings Saturday before busting out. Sunday, they got to work even earlier.

The Marlins had planned to start veteran Jose Ureña, but he was scratched at 11:40 a.m.

Subscribe and rate the Phillies Talk podcast:
Apple Podcasts / Google Play / Spotify / Stitcher / Art19 / YouTube

More on the Phillies

Joe Girardi's Phillies lineup is nearly set, except for one outfield question mark

Joe Girardi's Phillies lineup is nearly set, except for one outfield question mark

The start of the Phillies' abbreviated 2020 season is two weeks away, and manager Joe Girardi has a pretty good idea of what his team's Opening Day defensive alignment will look like.  

J.T. Realmuto will be behind the plate, presumably catching Aaron Nola. Jean Segura will likely be the starting third baseman, next to new shortstop Didi Gregorius. Now healthy after a wicked bout with COVID-19, Scott Kingery projects as the starting second baseman. Rhys Hoskins will play first base. Andrew McCutchen and Bryce Harper are locked in at the corner outfield spots. 

That leaves center field as the only position up for grabs. 

Second-year player Adam Haseley and fourth-year veteran Roman Quinn are the primary candidates. 

The 24-year old Haseley was the 8th overall pick of the 2017 MLB draft and quickly climbed through the Phillies minor league system. He played 67 games last season as a rookie and showed flashes of being a productive big league outfielder, hitting .266 with 14 doubles, five home runs, and 26 RBI. He also made a handful of spectacular defensive plays.

Quinn, 27, has long tantalized the front office and fans alike with his immense talent. His blazing speed makes him a weapon on the basepaths and allows him to cover a ton of ground in the outfield. He also has a fair amount of pop, collecting 20 extra-base hits in 139 at-bats the last two seasons. But injuries have been a common theme throughout Quinn's professional career. He's never been able to stay healthy long enough to show what he's capable of over the course of a full season. 

Quinn and Haseley competed for the center field job during spring training in Clearwater and will continue to do so over the next two weeks of training camp at Citizens Bank Park. The manager isn't in a rush to name a starter.

"My mind is really open with that spot," Girardi told NBC Sports Philadelphia's Michael Barkann earlier this week. "If one guy emerges, it's one guy. If it's a platoon, it's a platoon. If one guy plays more than the other, we have that.

"The big thing is we get production out of center field, that's what I'm looking for. And that doesn't necessarily mean home runs, it could mean getting on base and scoring runs and a lot of different things including really good defense. I'm just going to let it play out and see who rises to the top here." 

Whoever plays center field will likely be hitting towards the bottom of the batting order. There won't be a ton of pressure to put up big offensive numbers. 

There is one other possibility to consider when it comes to the center field situation: Odubel Herrera.

The 28-year old Herrera isn't currently on the Phillies' 60-man summer camp roster, but he could be added at any point. GM Matt Klentak didn't rule out that scenario last week. 

On Thursday's 'Phillies Return to Play' show, NBC Sports Philadelphia's Jim Salisbury indicated Herrera could still be an option if neither Haseley or Quinn play well enough to claim the job. 

There are a lot of question marks at the moment when it comes to the Phillies' center field job. Girardi is hopeful one of the candidates will step up over the next couple of weeks and provide some answers.

Subscribe and rate the Phillies Talk podcast:
Apple Podcasts / Google Play / Spotify / Stitcher / Art19 / YouTube

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Phillies

Phillies GM Matt Klentak offers specifics on team's COVID-19 cases, including the mistakes

Phillies GM Matt Klentak offers specifics on team's COVID-19 cases, including the mistakes

Confusion over who has tested positive for COVID-19, who hasn’t, who came in contact with someone who has been infected, and who’s at practice and not at practice led Phillies general manager Matt Klentak to do the right thing Tuesday. 

He received clearance from all the parties whose names have been connected to COVID-19 and presented everything as fact. 

No more hearsay, no more rumor. 

Klentak provided the following update:

- Hector Neris, who had tested positive, has cleared all his protocols and is in camp, ready to go.

- Tommy Hunter and Scott Kingery, both of whom tested positive, are feeling healthy. They are not in camp, however, because they are going through protocols. Klentak used the word “re-testing.” Players have to test negative twice before they can return to the group.

- Mikie Mahtook, a nonroster outfielder, tested positive during intake screening and is sidelined.

- Three members of the staff, bench coach Rob Thomson, bullpen coach Jim Gott and bullpen catcher Greg Brodzinski, were among the group that tested positive in Clearwater. They have yet to return to the group. “All three of them have been asymptomatic for some time but are still following the protocols before they can return,” Klentak said.

- Reliever Francisco Liriano has been absent from camp the last two days. Klentak said his absence was not connected to COVID-19.

- “He is evaluating the situation and whether he wants to play or not,” Klentak said. “I don't know exactly where that's going to go, but he's not been in camp the last few days and I'm not sure if he will return and if so when. But right now he's evaluating the situation before determining the next steps.”

Liriano had been projected to make the team.

Troubling lab errors 

There was a troubling bit of news in Klentak’s update.

Outfielder Adam Haseley made his first appearance in camp Tuesday. It had been speculated that he was absent because maybe he came in contact with someone who was infected. That’s what kept Aaron Nola away for a few days.

But it turns out that Haseley missed four team workouts because of what Klentak called a “lab error” during the testing process. 

“He took his tests as part of the intake screening process last week,” Klentak said. “The test was sent in with the rest of the tests and we never received a result from that. That's what happened. We're not pointing any fingers, but that's the reason his arrival to camp was delayed because we didn't have a result for his tests. Once we realized that we weren't going to get that result we retested him and he tested negative and today is the first day he could be back. There's really no issues whatsoever with Adam. He's done everything right. He's never been sick and we're happy to have him back on the field today. 

“It's going to be critical that the testing is done reliably and done quickly. The league folks, the Players Association folks, and the folks at the lab are doing the best they can, and we absolutely understand that this is a huge undertaking and it's the first time that these parties have ever gone through that. So, we understand all that. Nevertheless, it's frustrating for a player like Adam Haseley or the Phillies when something like that happens, and our hope throughout the league is that as we work through these instances early, that we will be able to smooth them out for later in camp and later in the season.”

Subscribe and rate the Phillies Talk podcast:
Apple Podcasts / Google Play / Spotify / Stitcher / Art19 / YouTube

More on the Phillies