Phillies Morning Notes: Kapler thrilled with Hoskins after multi-homer day; Arrieta debut

Phillies slugger Rhys Hoskins
Rhys Hoskins appears primed for Opening Day. The second-year slugger finished 2-for-4 with two home runs, three RBIs and one walk in Wednesday's 7-7 tie with the Blue Jays in a Grapefruit League game at Dunedin Stadium.

He's collected six hits over his last five games, including a pair of doubles, two home runs, and five walks. In total this spring, he's collected 10 walks and struck out just 10 times.

"That is fantastic," first-year manager Gabe Kapler said of Hoskins' approach at the plate. "Obviously he's swinging the bat beautifully, but [he's] really controlling the at-bats. One of the things that we know is more predictive than maybe how many homers he's hitting or how many hits he's getting is his ability to control the strike zone, and he's doing that effectively. No doubt."

As for Hoskins, he's looking at the six remaining games on the Grapefruit League schedule as a chance to continue his refinement at the plate.

"It's getting there," Hoskins said, referring to his swing. "There's obviously still some things that I'm trying to feel. It's really just about trusting yourself at the plate to do the things you know you can do and finding that feel. It's getting better day by day. Obviously, today was a good day. I was really, really happy with the first at-bat. I had been struggling with the ball in. I was able to keep my hands inside of it and the ball went."

Longball Wednesday
Aaron Altherr bopped a two-run shot in the seventh inning and Scott Kingery hit his fourth of the spring, a two-run blast to center in the eighth.

Minor Trade
The Phillies traded infielder Eliezer Alvarez to the Rangers for cash considerations. The infielder was designated for assignment late last week to make room on the 40-man roster for utility player Pedro Florimon.

Arrieta Day
Jake Arrieta makes his debut with the Phillies on Thursday afternoon in a Grapefruit League game against the Tigers at Spectrum Field.

The Lineup
1. J.P. Crawford 6
2. Odubel Herrera 8
3. Jesumel Valentin 5
4. Scott Kingery 4
5. Andrew Knapp 2
6. Nick Williams DH
7. Pedro Florimon 9
8. Adam Rosales 3
9. Roman Quinn 7
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Follow Patrick on Twitter: @PGordonPBR

BY PATRICK GORDON
Managing Editor
pgordon@philadelphiabaseballreview.com

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