CLEARWATER, FL — The Phillies won their Grapefruit League Spring Opening game Saturday, 7-4, over the Yankees before a crowd of 9,534 at BayCare Ballpark. The Phillies committed no offenses while playing their first game under MLB’s new rule changes. The pitch clock helped speed up the game, especially in later innings, to 2 hours 34 minutes. Here are some quick notes from Clearwater:
Baker dazzles: rob manager Thompson said Andrew Baker, who took the win on Saturday, was “probably the most impressive pitcher that day.” Baker, a 22-year-old right-handed batter, threw a scoreless two-hit inning. It’s a name to watch this spring, as the Phillies have an open spot in their place, and fit the selectable depth profile the Phillies say they’re looking for.
“It was excellent,” said Thompson. “And the high-end stuff. If he can harness the strike zone, we have something. And he did today.”
Baker is coming off a strong 2022 minor league season in which he jumped from Division I to Division II and posted a 3.98 ERA. He only allowed one earned run in 10 innings in Double A Reading last season. He credits a change to his delivery suggested by Promotion Development Director Brian Kaplan with his success.
“I was almost done, and we pulled the car off completely last year and went for a stretch, because that’s the simplest delivery,” Baker said. “And that immediately started helping me a lot. It took me until the middle of last year to finally click with it, and when it did, it went up from there.”
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On the mound: Nick Nelson got a scoreless start for the Phillies, allowing one hit and one walk on a hit. Lewis Head, who signed to a minor league contract with this offseason, seemed sharp, allowing only one hit in one inning. James MacArthur was also a right reliever, allowing no hits, walks or runs in a single inning. Right-handed pitcher Francisco Morales, who made his major league debut last season but struggled with his drives, lead the inning 1-2-3.
Who stood out: Weston Wilson, a 28-year-old third baseman who signed with the Phillies in January. Wilson, who played right field for the Phillies on Saturday, went 2-for-2 with four RBIs, a walk, and a home run.
the next: The Phillies play the Minnesota Twins at 1:05 p.m. Sunday at BayCare Ballpark in Clearwater, Florida. The game will be webcasted and broadcast on NBC Sports Philadelphia.
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