March 25, 2023
With the regular season just days away, the Phillies are almost done preparing for the year down in Clearwater.
We've checked in twice already with whose stock was on the rise and whose was plummeting in spring training, but there's time for one last look. After all, there are bullpen and bench battles still in full effect with their season opener in Dallas less than a week away.
Here's a look at the hitters and pitchers who are turning heads — for good or bad — as the warmup period comes to a close:
Bailey Falter, SP
Falter is now a shoe-in to start the year in the rotation, following some injuries to his competition and his two most recent starts. In two five-inning stints, he allowed just one run total and scattered five hits. In those 10 innings he struck out six and walked one. It looks like he's pretty close to being fully stretched out.
Nick Castellanos, OF
After struggling for most of 2022, his first year with the Phillies and early in his spring campaign, Castellanos has finally found a groove. He has hits in seven games in a row — eight in total — and could wind up re-gaining his All-Star form in 2023.
Edmundo Sosa, UTIL
Sosa continues to be one of the most impressive hitters for the Phillies this spring — impressive as he's usually known for his defense. The do-it-all infielder has hit .400 this spring, including a seven-game stretch in mid March that saw him get a hit in every game and 10 in total.
Darick Hall, DH, 1B
Meet your starting first baseman, Darick Hall. Assuming for a moment that no one has lower stock right now than Rhys Hoskins — the everyday slugging first baseman who tore his ACL this week and will miss the 2023 season — no one's stock is likely higher than Hall, who was tagged by the Phillies to be his replacement (on most days, to be determined if he'll start against lefties). Hall got hits in six straight games recently and six of his last seven, boasting a .313 average this spring in 48 at bats.
Jake Cave, OF
The Phillies may not really be wanting a left-handed outfielder on the bench, but Cave may be leaving the team with no choice. With Hoskins out, there's a spot for a hitter left on the roster and it would be hard to justify leaving a .415 hitter off the 26-man squad.
Scott Kingery, UTIL
Perhaps the Phillies will give serious thought to bringing Kingery to Philly with them? The former utility man of the future who saw a steep decline after 2020 is hitting .381 and has been on base consistently all spring training.
Kody Clemens, OF
The position battles are red hot all across the board, as Clemens has boasted three multi-hit games over his last six and is hitting .349 this spring. Like Cave, he is another left-handed option to be a bench bat.
Andrew Bellatti, RP
This is a simple assessment. The Phils reliever has not allowed a run this spring in 7.2 innings pitched.
Ranger Suarez, SP
We'll start with Suarez, who has elbow inflammation and could be in line to miss his first start of the season. That obviously hurts his stock, as the Phils will be scrambling to find two starters from spring training to open the year (alongside Aaron Nola, Zack Wheeler and Taijuan Walker). Falter will likely be one, with the other to be determined. If Suarez is expected to only miss one start it could be a Matt Straham led bullpen game.
Bryson Stott, 2B
Moving to second base hasn't done much for Stott's swing, which is cold as ice as he's hit .190 this spring — boosted by one three-hit game back on March 16. Here's hoping he finds his groove when things move back north.
Brandon Marsh, CF
We haven't talked a lot about Marsh this offseason, mostly because he hasn't done all that much. With regular at bats this spring, the speedy and defense-first outfielder is hitting just .220, and .184 in the month of March.
Dalton Guthrie, OF
One outfielder who probably won't be in the mix for the final outfield spot is Guthrie, whose .200 average this spring has not turned any heads.
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