Joe Girardi said Alec Bohm’s early exit from Thursday night’s 13-12 win over the Yankees was “precautionary” after the third baseman experienced tightness in his left groin.
Bohm, Girardi said, is “day to day” but the third baseman was already scheduled to not play Friday night against Toronto. The Phillies will be cautious with Bohm, who is expected to be a key piece of their lineup after a stellar rookie season.
Bohm had two at-bats Thursday and drove in a run with a ground-out in the first inning. He was removed in the fourth inning, two innings before the other regulars were lifted.
If his injury is worse than anticipated, Replacing Bohm could be a challenge. Brad Miller would be the first choice, but he remains sidelined with an oblique injury. Up next would be Scott Kingery, but he’s had a rough spring.
Thursday’s injury scare was a reminder of how much the Phillies need Bohm, who finished last season with a .881 OPS.
It’s starting to feel safe to write J.T. Realmuto’s name on the opening-day lineup card. He went 2-for-3 and caught six innings. Realmuto doubled in the first, was hit by a pitch in the second, and singled in the sixth. He looks ready.
It was a good night for other regulars, too. Bryce Harper and Jean Segura had two hits, Didi Gregorius hit a three-run homer, Rhys Hoskins walked twice, and Andrew McCutchen singled and scored a run.
Odúbel Herrera and Roman Quinn both went 0-for-3 with a strikeout as they struggle to take control of the center-field job. Herrera has 3 hits in his last 23 at-bats. Quinn is hitting .294 in Grapefruit League play but has four strikeouts in his last nine at-bats and has 13 strikeouts this spring. It’s anyone’s guess who will start in center on April 1.
“He got off to a great start. He struggled a little bit since then,” Girardi said of Herrera. “We just haven’t made a decision. This is going to go down to the wire. That’s all I can tell you. We’ve kind of waited for someone to take hold of it, and it’s just going to go down to the wire. These guys have four more days to make an impression.”
Hector Neris made quick work in the seventh inning as he fights to hold onto his job as the closer. He needed just 11 pitches to retire the three batters he faced. Neris started his outing by striking out Gleyber Torres on a fastball that was set up by his new slider. The Phillies have yet to determine who their closer will be.
Jose Alvarado touched 102 mph but he was erratic as he threw three wild pitches. Alvarado has had a terrific spring, but Thursday was a rough spot. He threw 26 pitches, just 12 of which were strikes. He walked three batters and was removed with two outs in the fifth. He’s still pegged to pitch in the late innings, but perhaps it’s a bit too early to make him the closer.
“He got his stinker out of the way,” Girardi said.
Prospect Logan O’Hoppe, who grew up as a Yankees fan in Long Island, homered in the eighth inning against his old favorite team. Two months before being drafted by the Phillies in 2018, O’Hoppe caught a visiting home run at Yankee Stadium and threw it back. The 21-year-old is a minor-leaguer worth keeping an eye on this season.
It took 3 hours, 41 minutes on Thursday night for the Phillies and Yankees to finish this game. The Phillies allowed six runs in the top of the ninth, 14 pitchers combined to throw 354 pitches, and it was enough for everyone to agree that the regular season can’t start soon enough.
Chase Anderson starts Friday night in Dunedin, Fla. against the Blue Jays at 6:37 p.m.