Joe Girardi has said since the start of spring training that he was hoping someone would take control of the center field competition and make his job easier. After 12 games, he’s still waiting.
Roman Quinn, Scott Kingery, and Odubel Herrera all went 0-for-3 on Friday in a 6-2 win over the Orioles in Sarasota, Fla. Kingery and Quinn, the team leaders in strikeouts this spring, each struck out twice. All three players have had flashes this spring, but none has separated themselves since Adam Haseley suffered a groin strain on March 4.
“I keep saying we’re hoping somebody grabs it and takes off with it,” Girardi said. “It hasn’t happened yet. We need someone to do it. Guys are getting an opportunity. We need someone to grab a hold of it.”
Mickey Moniak did not play Friday, but remains in the competition as a bit of a longshot. He’s 5-for-12 this spring with two homers, but most of his action has come late in games. Moniak has started one game this spring, making his performance tough to judge. It sounds like he could soon be getting more looks.
“You could see that,” Girardi said.
Jose Alvarado retired the three batters he faced as he continues to put together an impressive camp. The left-hander was acquired in December from Tampa Bay and throws in the high-90s. It was a low-risk trade as the Phillies simply took a shot on Alvarado and he’s pitching himself this spring into a key bullpen role.
“Whenever you see a guy throw 100 and 101 that’s going to stand out to you. With movement, that’s the amazing thing,” Girardi said. “I thought Alvarado threw a really good curveball.”
Alvarado was followed by four relievers -- Connor Brogdon, Archie Bradley, Hector Neris, and Enyel De Los Santos -- who threw scoreless innings. De Los Santos struck out the three batters he faced in the ninth to finish off a promising day from the bullpen.
C.J. Chatham hit an RBI double in the second inning. Acquired this offseason from Boston, Chatham is trying to make the team as a utility player. He’s yet to reach the majors and has played just 20 games in triple A. but can handle almost any position. He was Boston’s second-round pick in 2016 when Dave Dombrowski was with the Red Sox.
Nick Maton, also vying for a utility role, hit a three-run homer in the sixth. Like Chatham, Maton can play almost anywhere. The 24-year-old from Chatham, Ill. has yet to reach triple A and has played just 21 games in double A. He was a seventh-round pick in 2017.
The Phillies stay in Clearwater to host the Tigers at 1:05 p.m. on Saturday. Zach Eflin will start and NBC Sports Philadelphia will air the game.