We’re so close to the end of spring training, and I can almost taste it.
You can almost count the remaining games on one hand...— The Good Phight (@TheGoodPhight) March 26, 2017
Let’s get right to the news.
The backup catcher race is pretty much over
Not that it was terribly tight to begin with. Andrew Knapp was technically competing with Brian Holaday and Ryan Hanigan for the spot of backup catcher, but Matt Gelb notes that the Phillies essentially gave Knapp the job at the start of spring training. And then, of course, his bat went ice cold. But he homered and threw out two baserunners over the weekend, which was a nice way to put a button on the spring. We’ll see you in Philly, Andrew.
Hoby Milner returns to the Phillies
Milner left us in December when the Indians chose him in the rule 5 draft, but the Cleveland bullpen is pretty strong so now he’s back. Sean Burnett was a Phillies reliever until recently, when he requested and was granted his unconditional release, which sounds like some kind of City of Gold and Lead doublespeak for death. (If you get that reference, congratulations, you get a gold star.)
Clay Buchholz is having some problems with not sucking
Buchholz’s spring ERA is up to 5.94, which is not good. Matt Gelb of Philly.com wrote up some of Buchholz’s struggles, including some honest comments from skipper Pete Mackanin. Yeah, Clay hasn’t had a good spring. At least the Phillies have eight million pitchers to fill the gap in case he’s too terrible.
Ruben Amaro still thinks about the Phillies
The Phillies and Red Sox played on Saturday, and that meant former GM Ruben Amaro Jr., now the goateed first base coach of the Red Sox, was back in all our lives. He commented on the prospects from the Hamels trade, one of his last big moves as Phillies GM, which he still keeps tabs on, and rejects the notion that Jerad Eickhoff was a “throw-in.” Amaro is like the Phillies’ old boyfriend. He’s gone, he’s moved on, but he still thinks about his old girlfriend, and brags that he knows what’s really going on and what’s best for her. Read this Jim Salisbury article and tell me that’s not true.
Tweet of the day
This is absolutely stupendous.
Pete Mackanin today on Phillies switch-pitcher Pat Venditte: pic.twitter.com/9tZvQdRrIU— Matt Breen (@matt_breen) March 26, 2017
I love you, Pete Mackanin.