CLEARWATER, Fla. -- The Phillies played two games on Wednesday and several of the players on the bubble for opening-day roster spots delivered performances that could impact the team's decision making.
Brock Stassi, who had already been in good shape to break with the team, smacked his sixth homer of the spring in the game against the Detroit Tigers at Lakeland.
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Daniel Nava belted a three-run home run against Justin Verlander in that game. Nava, hitting .386, has had a good spring. Will that put him over the top and earn him what looks like the final spot on the bench? The decision seems to be down to him or infielder Jesmuel Valentin.
Meanwhile, on the pitching side, all three candidates for the final two jobs in the bullpen pitched on Wednesday.
Things did not go well for Luis Garcia in Lakeland. He needed 45 pitches to get through two innings. He was tagged for five hits and two runs. One of the hits was a double. Garcia did not walk a batter and struck out three.
Garcia could end being the odd man out and be sent to Triple A, where he could be the closer.
Joely Rodriguez and Adam Morgan, the other two candidates for the bullpen openings, both pitched against the Pittsburgh Pirates in Bradenton. Rodriguez worked two scoreless innings and gave up a hit and a walk and struck out one.
Morgan pitched the final three innings in that game and gave up just one run. It seems likely that he will break with the club as the long man.
Rodriguez's performance Wednesday may end up getting him the final spot over Garcia, but manager Pete Mackanin cautioned that nothing had been decided.
More will be known on Thursday. The team leaves Florida on Friday and Mackanin would like to have his roster cut down by then.
Plenty of offense
The Phillies won both of the games by a score of 8-2.
They had 13 hits in both games.
They walked twice in both games.
And struck out 10 times in both games.
All together now ... that's crazy!
Aaron Altherr had three hits, including a homer and a double, in the win over the Pirates. The homer was a bomb over everything in dead-center.
Cam Perkins and Maikel Franco also homered. All three of the homers came against Pirates ace Gerrit Cole. Franco has six homers on the spring.
Nava, Stassi and Rhys Hoskins homered in Lakeland. Michael Saunders had two hits, including a triple.
The Phillies this season will wear a patch on their uniform tops in honor of Dallas Green, the legendary former executive and World Series-winning manager who died last week. The team will debut the patch for the home opener a week from Friday.
Jerad Eickhoff will make his final spring start Thursday afternoon against the Yankees in Clearwater. Luis Severino will start for the Yankees.