Phillies first baseman Rhys Hoskins, fresh off meniscus surgery, made his spring debut Friday as the team’s DH against the Detroit Tigers. Meanwhile, two days after the debut of top pitching prospect Andrew Painter made his Phillies spring debut, their number-two prospect, Mick Abel, took to the mound.
Hoskins, who is expected to be ready for Opening Day, was slotted into the second spot in the batting order and went 2-for-2 with two singles. Last season, Hoskins hit 30-79-.246/.332/.794 for the Phillies. Hoskins is eligible for free agency following the 2023 season and with Scott Boras as his agent, it would not be a surprise to see him hit the open market as many of Boras’ clients do. He avoided arbitration with the team by signing a one-year, $12-million dollar deal.
Another veteran made his Phillies debut when Taijuan Walker started for the Phillies and pitched 2.1 innings against Detroit. Walker allowed two earned runs on four hits with two strikeouts. The Phillies signed Walker as a free agent during the winter, getting a four-year, $72-million contract. Last season with the Mets, Walker was 12-5 with a 3.49 ERA.
Abel, a 21-year-old righty, threw one inning, allowing a hit and a walk but no runs against the Detroit Tigers in Friday’s 6-3 loss for the Phillies. He is listed as the number-two pitching prospect in the organization behind Painter and just ahead of Griff McGarry. Abel opened last season with Jersey Shore before moving to Double-A Reading during the season. Overall, he made 18 starts with Jersey Shore and five more with the Fightins, for a line of 8-11, 3.90 over 108 innings of work. Abel won’t be heading north with the Phillies, but his spring performance could determine whether he opens the 2024 season at Double-A or Triple-A.
News and Notes
- Edmundo Sosa went 2-for-3 with a double and a home run, driving in a run and scoring another. On the spring, Sosa is 5-for-10 (.500) with two home runs and four RBI, posting a .583 on-base percentage and a 1.783 OPS.
- The Tigers had four former Phillies – Nick Maton, Matt Vierling, Cesar Hernandez, and Donny Sands – in their starting lineup. Hernandez is on a minor league deal while Sands is in a battle for the backup catching job. Maton and Vierling will likely open the season on the Tigers roster. Former Phillies backup catcher Andrew Knapp is also in the mix to serve as the backup catcher. He came on later in the game and played first base.
- The Phillies host the Pirates Saturday at 1:05 in Clearwater. The game will be broadcast on NBC Sports Philly and on WIP radio.