Phil Gosselin

Andrew McCutchen out of Phillies lineup Sunday

Andrew McCutchen out of Phillies lineup Sunday

Andrew McCutchen (and Phil Gosselin!) are out of the Phillies' lineup for Sunday afternoon's series finale against the Marlins at 1:05 p.m. on NBC Sports Philadelphia.

It's not surprising that McCutchen is sitting. He is a year removed from a torn ACL and manager Joe Girardi indicated during camp that he could get McCutchen off his feet after a couple of games.

McCutchen made a terrific sliding grab in left field Saturday afternoon (see the video above), showing he can still go get 'em in the outfield. At the plate, he's 0 for 9 with three strikeouts.

Adam Haseley leads off and gets his first start of the season in center field.

It is a bit surprising to see Gosselin sit a day after hitting two home runs. Jay Bruce plays left field and Neil Walker is the DH. 

The Marlins scratched starter Jose Ureña at 11:40 a.m. Sunday and will start right-hander Robert Dugger.

1. Adam Haseley CF
2. Rhys Hoskins 1B
3. Bryce Harper RF
4. J.T. Realmuto C
5. Didi Gregorius SS
6. Jean Segura 3B
7. Jay Bruce LF
8. Scott Kingery 2B
9. Neil Walker DH

Vince Velasquez SP

We'll get our first real glimpse today at whether 2020 Vince Velasquez is any different.

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

More on the Phillies

Phil Gosselin steals the day from Zack Wheeler and Phillies are OK with that

Phil Gosselin steals the day from Zack Wheeler and Phillies are OK with that

The ball landed in the right field seats. Phil Gosselin floated euphorically around the bases and returned to the dugout where air high-fives were plentiful.

Teammate Jay Bruce offered his congratulations and asked Gosselin if he'd ever had a multi-homer game before in the big leagues.

"I think I just laughed in his face," Gosselin said.

If Bruce had Gosselin's bubblegum card, he'd know that the very likable utility infielder from West Chester, Malvern Prep and the University of Virginia was not known for his power. Gosselin woke up Saturday morning with just seven homers in 597 career big-league at-bats.

By dinner time, he had nine.

Yes, this was a day of firsts for the 2020 Phillies.

They picked up their first win of the new season, 7-1, over the Miami Marlins.

New manager Joe Girardi earned his first win with the club.

Zack Wheeler made his first start with his new team. He pitched great and got the win.

Bryce Harper had his first hit of the new season, a bunt single against an infield shift, and that preceded J.T. Realmuto's first hit of the season, a mammoth three-run homer off the batter's eye in centerfield.

But the most fun first of the day belonged to the unassuming Gosselin, who got his first start as the designated hitter and powered two homers, a tie-breaking, two-run shot in the sixth inning, and a solo shot in the eighth.

Bruce wasn't the only teammate who was happy about Gosselin's first multi-homer game.

They all were.

"We call him 'Barrels' for a reason," Realmuto said. "That guy can hit. We were glad to see what he did. He's a great guy, really easy to root for."

Gosselin is in his 11th season of pro ball. He's gotten time with five big-league clubs, including 44 games with the Phillies last season.

He returned to the organization on a minor-league deal over the winter because, well, it's the Phillies. He grew up rooting for the team and if he didn't make the big club he'd be close to home in Allentown, where the Triple A club plays.

"I had some good interest, maybe a handful of teams I was talking to," Gosselin said. "I just felt like the staff, I know Joe is new, but most of the staff was back. They had spoken to me and told me they liked me as a player, and I knew they would call me up if I was playing well and there was a need because they did it last year. So, the familiarity helped. I haven't been on the same team back-to-back years in like six years so it's nice to come back to a spot where I know people and I'm comfortable."

Gosselin had to fight like heck to make the club. In fact, he was the last man on the expanded 30-man roster.

"I can't imagine the stress he was feeling that last week," Realmuto said. "I'm sure he was relieved to make the team and then in his first start hit two homers. That was huge for us."

Girardi concurred.

"This was a big win," he said. "We talk about winning series. If we don't win this game today, we don't have an opportunity to do that (Sunday)."

Gosselin made the club with a flurry of hits — "He was like 24 for 12," Girardi said — in the final week of intrasquad and exhibition games. There was no way the Phillies could keep him off the roster.

"Those two weeks had everything to do with it," Girardi said of the decision to keep Gosselin.

With lefty Caleb Smith on the mound for Miami, Bruce, the regular DH, got the day off Saturday. Girardi decided to go to the hot bat and Gosselin reached base four times with a walk, a single and two homers.

"He made me look smart today," Girardi said.

"I'm just trying to hit the ball hard and hope they fall," Gosselin said. 

Back in the clubhouse after the game, Gosselin checked his phone. Text-message mania. 

"Just about 300 or so," he said. "I haven't even begun to look through them. It's cool to see the support. It's a lot of my high school buddies, friends and family. It's cool when everybody is pulling for you."

Of course they're pulling for Gosselin. He's a local guy. His pals are Phillies fans and the Phils are the only show in town right now. We're still in the midst of a pandemic, you know. Hence the air high-fives.

Gosselin is a level-headed guy hardened by years of trying to make clubs as an extra man. He's never come to a camp and been guaranteed a job. So, deep down, he knows he's still essentially on a tryout. Rosters will shrink by two spots in two weeks and two more spots in a month.

But if he keeps having days like he did Saturday, he'll stick around.

"I'm really happy that Joe gave me a start early on to keep it rolling," Gosselin said. "I know in the beginning of the year it can be tough. Sometimes when you're a bench guy you'll sit and not get the consistent at-bats, so it was nice to get four in a day today and help the team out.

"This has been awesome and I'm just trying to soak it in. It's my 11th year. You never know how long it's going to last. You never know if you'll play for your hometown team again. So, you just enjoy every moment of it and try to help the team make the playoffs.

"That would be awesome. I watched all those World Series caliber teams as a fan, so to be in the postseason with the Phillies would be crazy."

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

More on the Phillies

Where Phillies' roster stands as final decisions loom

Where Phillies' roster stands as final decisions loom

Major League Baseball teams must submit opening day rosters to the commissioner’s office by noon Thursday.

Teams can carry 30 players for the first two weeks before trimming down to 28 two weeks later and 26 two weeks after that.

Here’s a look at where the Phillies stand in the final hours before rosters are due.

STARTING PITCHERS (5)

Aaron Nola
Zack Wheeler
Vince Velasquez
Jake Arrieta
Zach Eflin

Note: This could change if Wheeler needs to go on paternity leave before his first start Saturday. He and his wife are expecting their first child. Eflin has been slowed by back spasms. His status hinges on the results of a simulated game Thursday. Spencer Howard has been assigned to the reserve squad in Lehigh Valley, but that’s probably just a temporary move to delay his free agency until after the 2026 season. He could be in the starting rotation by the second time through the rotation. "We're really excited about him," Joe Girardi said of Howard.

BULLPEN (11)

Nick Pivetta
Hector Neris
Adam Morgan (L)
Jose Alvarez (L)
Cole Irvin (L)
Tommy Hunter
Reggie McClain
Enyel De Los Santos
Garrett Cleavinger (L)
Deolis Guerra
Edgar Garcia

Note: All 11 of these pitchers are on the 40-man roster, which could facilitate decisions. Pivetta could still end up in the rotation if there are developments surrounding Wheeler or Eflin. In that case, the Phillies could start Victor Arano on the roster. He was slow coming around in camp and is still building arm strength. Robert Stock is on the 40-man roster so he could be a possibility. Veterans Blake Parker and Austin Davis remain possibilities as non-roster additions. Connor Brogdon, Damon Jones, Ramon Rosso and JoJo Romero are all young arms from the system who should be in play at some point, maybe sooner than later. The Phils could also make a late addition from outside the organization. Veteran Francisco Liriano was released, likely for financial reasons as the Phils remain right up against the luxury tax threshold.

CATCHERS (2)

J.T. Realmuto
Andrew Knapp

INFIELDERS (5)

Rhys Hoskins
Scott Kingery
Jean Segura
Didi Gregorius
Jay Bruce

Note: Bruce will be the primary designated hitter. Like Howard, corner infielder/DH Alec Bohm is expected to open on the reserve squad, but he could be in the mix during the 60-game season.

UTILITY (2)

Neil Walker
Phil Gosselin

Note: The Phillies signed Josh Harrison early in the offseason and he was long projected to be on the roster. But he asked for and was granted his release, probably for financial reasons, on Tuesday. That would seem to open a spot for Gosselin to be added to the roster. He has swung a hot bat. Ronald Torreyes, an excellent glove man and Girardi favorite, remains in the hunt, but Gosselin’s ability to play infield and outfield could give him the edge in that battle. Walker has been told he will make the opening day roster. His infield/outfield versatility is a plus. 

OUTFIELDERS (5)

Bryce Harper
Andrew McCutchen
Roman Quinn
Adam Haseley
Nick Williams or Kyle Garlick

Note: Garlick could add some bench power and he is on the 40-man roster. Williams long ago fell out of favor with team officials, but he has not been traded and remains on the 40-man roster. Garlick and Williams both have minor-league options so they can be stashed on the reserve club in Lehigh Valley if the Phils wanted to carry an extra pitcher.

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

More on the Phillies