CLEARWATER, Fla. - Tommy Joseph has the seams imprinted on his left hand Tuesday to prove how much being hit by a baseball hurt, but an X-ray at least revealed no broken bones for the Phillies first baseman.
The team diagnosed Joseph with a bruised left hand. He had a blood blister on his palm. He could miss a few days with the injury.
"I got lucky," Joseph said, his hand wrapped. "Obviously if it would've hit higher, it probably would've gotten more bone."
Joseph was hit by an Aaron Blair pitch in the first inning of a 9-0 Phillies win over the Braves at Spectrum Field. He remained in the game for another inning until he was replaced by Brock Stassi.
"When I grabbed a bat, it didn't feel too comfortable," Joseph said. "So at that point it was a pretty easy decision to come out, come in here, start treating it and try to get this thing taken care of."
Stassi, pushing for a bench spot, tripled in the third and scored a run. He later blasted a two-run homer, his fifth of the spring, which tied him for the Grapefruit League lead. The 27-year-old career minor-leaguer has made the Phillies' roster decisions a little tougher. Stassi is not on the crowded 40-man roster.
"You have to like him," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said. "Not only has he had a good spring offensively - the at-bats he gives us are quality at-bats vs. righties and lefties - but he's just a well-above-average defender. He's fun to watch play."
Stassi hit 12 homers in 375 at-bats for triple-A Lehigh Valley last season. He has five this spring in 31 at-bats.
The Phillies trimmed their camp roster to 50 with three more cuts. Righthanders Mark Appel, Nick Pivetta, and Ricardo Pinto were optioned to minor-league camp, where games began Tuesday.
Appel, the former No. 1 overall pick acquired in a trade with Houston, had an uneven spring on the big-league side. He struck out 10 in nine innings but walked four and allowed two homers. He is projected to join the rotation at triple A, as is Pivetta, who was absent from camp while pitching for Canada in the World Baseball Classic.
Pinto, 23, is transitioning to a bullpen role. He impressed with 31/3 scoreless innings that included three strikeouts and no walks.
Jerad Eickhoff was so efficient in his five scoreless innings Tuesday that he had to reach his pitch count with a few more throws in the bullpen afterward. He needed just 62 pitches (37 strikes) to complete five innings. "I was attacking the zone a lot better today," Eickhoff said. "I had a good feel for my pitches today." . . . Joaquin Benoit, pitching for the first time in almost three weeks, hit two batters and walked another. But he wiggled free unscathed with a strikeout on a 95-mph fastball. The Phillies are limiting the 39-year-old's workload this spring. . . . The Phillies had Andres Blanco catch an inning in a minor-league game. Blanco, a utility man who can play every position on the field, is the Phillies' emergency catcher. He sported new gear, including a hockey-style catcher's mask.