Top pitching prospect Howard continues to show promise

Spencer Howard pushing for a roster spot with Phillies
Spencer Howard tossed three scoreless innings in a scrimmage at Citizens Bank Park on Thursday, showing why he's such a highly-touted prospect.

“I think we saw some electric stuff the first couple innings,” Phillies manager Joe Girardi said.

Howard is the Phillies’ No. 2 prospect and No. 34 overall, per MLB Pipeline.

It's unlikely, however, that Howard breaks camp with the club. Stipulations surrounding service time deem that the Phillies would retain an extra year of control over Howard, assuming he's not on the active roster during the first five days of the regular season.

“If this kid is the guy we think he is -- and we do -- then he’s going to have a really nice future in Philadelphia,” pitching coach Bryan Price told reporters earlier this week. “But at some point in time, he’s going to have to develop a workload. Workload is important. If he doesn't make the team out of Summer Camp, then he’ll be getting workload in Lehigh Valley. I would really hope and expect to see him pitching here, if not on Opening Day, then in some point in time because he really needs the work and I think he’s ready to compete at this level.”

In the field
Scott Kingery played in the field for the first time Thursday since returning from a battle with COVID-19. He spent six innings at second base. All signs point to him being ready and in the starting lineup come Opening Day.

Quinn the speedster
Roman Quinn finds himself in a positional battle for the center field spot with Adam Haseley, but he's confident that whatever happens, he'll still be able to help the Phils win a few close games this season because of his speed.

Major League Baseball is implementing a new rule during extra innings this year where each team opens a frame with a runner already on second base. That player will either be the batter that made the final out of the previous inning or a substitute.

"I experienced some of that while playing in Triple-A," Quinn said. "I liked it. It sped the game up. I thought it was cool and I'm looking forward to it."

Wall of Famer passes on
Tony Taylor, who spent 15 seasons with the Phillies, passed away on Thursday morning. He was 84.

The Phillies said in a statement that Taylor died from complications of a stroke suffered in 2019. He batted .261 with 2,007 hits, 1,005 runs and 234 stolen bases in 2,195 career games.

Taylor was inducted into the Wall of Fame in 2002.

"Tony was undeniably one of the most popular Phillies of his or any other generation," Phillies managing partner John Middleton said. "His baseball talent was second only to his warm and engaging personality, as he would always make time to talk with fans when he would visit Philadelphia for Alumni Weekend. Growing up as a Phillies fan, my favorite memory of Tony is the remarkable play he made to save Jim Bunning's perfect game. It was the play of the game and it was thrilling to see it back then. It remains equally thrilling today to watch Tony turn a sure hit into an out."

Following his playing career, Taylor served as a major league coach with the Phillies (1977-79, 1988-89) and Marlins (1999-2001, 2004) and as a minor league manager and coach with several organizations.
__________________________________
Follow Patrick on Twitter: @PGordonPBR

BY PATRICK GORDON
Managing Editor
pgordon@philadelphiabaseballreview.com

No comments: