Of course, the headline story of the day was about a bamboo plant. The Phillies’ famed curveball machine was on the field pregame, too, but there are some other noteworthy items to hit on, so let’s do that now.
After three rehab appearances with Clearwater in the Florida State League, relief pitcher Tommy Hunter tossed for Double-A Reading tonight. Gabe Kapler told reporters prior to tonight’s game against the Mets the plan was to see Hunter a few more times in the minors before joining the Phillies. Pure speculation on my part, but I would guess it’s likely that Hunter is back within a week.
Outfielder Adam Haseley is also working his way back in a rehab assignment. Kapler indicated it’s a possibility that Haseley will rejoin the Phillies when he’s fully healthy, but that “nothing is set in stone.” With Roman Quinn hitting exclusively from the right side, it remains to be seen how/if the Phillies might platoon their left and right fielders with more healthy options available.
Actor David Harbour took pregame batting practice and threw out the first pitch tonight. Harbour, who plays Jim Hopper in Stranger Things, joked (I think?) before getting in the box that he hadn’t swung a bat since he was 12 years old. He was out ahead of a few, but had some pretty good hacks.
Strange(r) Things are happening at Citizens Bank Park… pic.twitter.com/FI47ihM7jN
— Philadelphia Phillies (@Phillies) June 25, 2019
The third season of Stranger Things premieres on July 4. America.
Jay Wright Talks With Phillies
Kapler told reporters that Villanova head basketball coach Jay Wright addressed the Phillies earlier this afternoon. One of the topics that Wright, who was also in the Phillies’ dugout during batting practice, discussed with the team was how his championship squads dealt with and overcame adversity. Certainly, that’s a relatable topic for the Phillies right now.
It would have been difficult back in March to imagine the Phillies not having any player reach the final three at any position in the updated all-star balloting. But they don’t. That includes first baseman Rhys Hoskins, who couldn’t crack the top-tier despite 17 homers and a .925 OPS. That’s because the position is stacked in the National League. Three players have an OPS over 1.000 (Freddie Freeman, Pete Alonso, Josh Bell), while Anthony Rizzo and Max Muncy are also having stellar campaigns. Still, Kapler believes a number of Phillies are having all-star worthy seasons. Specifically, he mentioned the performances of Hector Neris, Zach Eflin, Bryce Harper, and Hoskins.