The Phillies lost to the Yankees in the Grapefruit League opener.
Some Quick Thoughts:
- J.P. Crawford is working counts but not getting anything for it, two weak groundballs in 3-1 counts today.
- Nick Williams took some aggressive hacks in his AB, but lining the ball up the middle is a good sign.
- The bad relievers (Burnett and Garcia) were really bad)
- Nick Pivetta was 91-94 but had some struggles with command feel for offspeed. He did bury a nice curve for a strikeout of Judge.
The name to watch today was Elniery Garcia. It was going to be a tough assignment for him given that he is nowhere near ready. He grooved a 93 mph fastball to Aaron Judge that would still be flying if it didn’t hit the scoreboard. He was wild for a batter and then settled in before Chris Coghlan failed to play the outfield during Garcia’s second inning of work. Garcia was 90-93 with his fastball according to the Yankees’ broadcast and for the most part was able to hit his spots. His curveball was a bit loopy but he froze a batter with one for a strikeout, he will need to be able to do that and get chases with it to give his arsenal depth. He also threw some pitches that looked like sliders but were very horizontal and did not seem well commanded, but he is still early in the development of that pitch. For me the most impressive pitch for him was his changeup and he was able to throw it to the outside corner a couple of time to righties for swings and misses. There is no way of knowing right now how accurate the Yankees TV gun was today, but if Garcia is already 90-93 in February it bodes well for where his velocity this year. Garcia does not need to sit 92-95 touching 97 to be effective (though that would be a nice permanent development), but if he can exist in the 91-95 range from the left side he could really be something. He still needs to polish his offspeed pitches and avoid missing his spots, but he also only turned 22 last December. One February start does not a career make, but it was a good appearance for the lefty, even if Yankees fans got a feel good highlight out of it.